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Old 12-03-2009, 12:30 PM
 
2,948 posts, read 3,456,880 times
Reputation: 1112
A completely clueless statement:

"The freight lines are owned by those companies, if they don't want to lease them, they don't have to. What will likely happen is that they will schedule the trains and commuter rail to work together, for example, do more of the freight later at night and commuter rail during the day, thus easing congestion by taking both trucks and autos off the road.

Scheduling freight and commuter rail to work together really isn't that big of an obstacle to overcome. It's more of a straw man argument and distraction to say that railroads can ONLY do freight OR commuter rail."
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Old 12-03-2009, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Historic Central Phoenix
652 posts, read 1,496,199 times
Reputation: 354
Quote:
Except that almost all of the taxpayers that are subsidising the freeways are also using the freeways (at least a little). So, in reality, almost all of the freeway funds come from freeway users. Most of the light-rail funds come from non-light-rail users. It will be the same for the passenger trains, with the majority of the non-users subsidising the few users.
With regards to the users highway users paying for and "choosing" to use the highway, a Hobson's Choice is no choice at all.

In a perfect world, all transportation would be independently funded and then driving wouldn't look so cheap.
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Old 12-03-2009, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Historic Central Phoenix
652 posts, read 1,496,199 times
Reputation: 354
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ritchie_az View Post
A completely clueless statement:

"The freight lines are owned by those companies, if they don't want to lease them, they don't have to. What will likely happen is that they will schedule the trains and commuter rail to work together, for example, do more of the freight later at night and commuter rail during the day, thus easing congestion by taking both trucks and autos off the road.

Scheduling freight and commuter rail to work together really isn't that big of an obstacle to overcome. It's more of a straw man argument and distraction to say that railroads can ONLY do freight OR commuter rail."
Thanks for your thoughtful, intelligent, and insightful rebuttal.
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Old 12-03-2009, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Phoenix
4,000 posts, read 5,905,118 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmist View Post
Yes, I noted to myself how yesterday, because of curiosity, we used the light rail, and all of our money was spent near the areas within walking distance to the light rail stops. I didnt spend a nickel at Walmart, McDonalds or any other chain franchise... AND IT FELT GOOD! I seriously believe there is a huge concentration of people living in the 80% of Phoenix that is suburbs that are completely bored to tears and would use the rail as a way to have a night out on the town and explore the city, have some drinks without worrying about driving home, go spend some money outside of their 2 mile radius.

We even saw places along the rail line that looked unique enough to make a mental note to come back and try it someday, but when you're driving, you don't exactly have time to absorb everything you see since you have to concentrate on driving.

The best thing this city could do is to focus on creating a network for all residents to get around without cars, and watch how it can impact local businesses as opposed to corporate monsters that stick their ugly redundant boxes every 2 miles.
Very good account of actual commuter rail usage in other cities and I completely agree with your statements. I believe a large number of suburbanites would feel extremely relieved to have such an option. One system that is good at adjusting to commuter needs is Valley Metro; especially for a predictable system like rail. This is how they handle increased traffic patterns when thousands of Suns, D-Backs fans or other event-goers leave downtown in masse and at "unscheduled" times.
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Old 12-03-2009, 01:34 PM
 
2,948 posts, read 3,456,880 times
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"The Hattie "B" that ran for a short time in the 1980's also is testament to the enormous ridership potential of the commuter rail system in the Valley."

You forget to mention that the "Hattie B" train ran because the auto bridges over the Salt River were washed out during a severe flood. If you closed the bridges over the Salt River and started passenger train service between Mesa and Phoenix, yeah, you'd have an "enormous ridership". But as far as I've heard, closing the auto bridges across the river is not part of the passenger train proposal.

"Thanks for your thoughtful, intelligent, and insightful rebuttal."

Your statement was extremely over simplified. I don't have the time or energy to teach you the ins and outs. If you are really interested, I can guide you to a few good (albiet boring) books on the subject. I suspect, though, that you are not interested.
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Old 12-03-2009, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Peoria, AZ
1,064 posts, read 1,461,721 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fcorrales80 View Post
Very good account of actual commuter rail usage in other cities and I completely agree with your statements. I believe a large number of suburbanites would feel extremely relieved to have such an option. One system that is good at adjusting to commuter needs is Valley Metro; especially for a predictable system like rail. This is how they handle increased traffic patterns when thousands of Suns, D-Backs fans or other event-goers leave downtown in masse and at "unscheduled" times.
On a positive note about the light rail too, I thought it was incredible how often the trains came. It was never more than a few minutes wait. There was no need for a real schedule which made it a very spontaneous trip.
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Old 12-03-2009, 01:58 PM
 
2,948 posts, read 3,456,880 times
Reputation: 1112
"This is a weak argument and much conjecture since there are a separation of commuter line and freight rail in much of the Valley."

Huh? Aside from the light-rail, where is there a "seperation of commuter line and freight rail" anywhere in the Valley?

"There are also cities with 10 times or more the rail traffic in Phoenix (Chicago, L.A., NYC, Washington, D.C.) that handle the systems extremely safely and well despite increasing rail use."

Yes, and those cities have had passenger rail service for well over 100 years (aside from the light-rail, Phoenix has zero passenger rail service). The lines they run on (almost entirely) are dedicated passenger rail lines (or lines with very minimal freight traffic) that the freight railroads discarded because they were not profitable. The line from downtown towards Buckeye would be the only one in the area that might qualify as such, and it would cost somewhere near 40+ million to fix to passenger rail standards (not including the construction of train stations).

"In the farthest stretches the train could run at top speed, with 40-55 as normal speeds in the Valley"

I agree with the 40-55 MPH speeds in the Valley, but I don't think 79 MPH will happen anywhere. It also doesn't take into account the stops at stations (and stops for freight and passenger train meets), which drag down the "average" times significantly.

"faster than the 10mph on the 10, 17, 202, 60, 101, 51, etc coming into downtown during rush hours."

I think you paint "rush hour" as much worse than it really is. I usually only encounter some slowing daily and stop-and-go a few times per week. I travel (on the I-10) both ways during rush hour, don't use the diamond lane (because it's just me in the car), and still average 57 1/2 MPH. That's FAR better than a commuter train could do.

Look, my main point is that a commuter train is really expensive (billions of dollars, plus tens of millions annually), and there are much less costly solutions that will do as much or more. And, as I said in the prior thread, the commuter rail does not fix the fundamental reasons that there is so much traffic pouring into downtown each morning and leaving in the afternoon. You fix that, and you fix traffic congestion.



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Old 12-03-2009, 02:01 PM
 
2,948 posts, read 3,456,880 times
Reputation: 1112
"On a positive note about the light rail too, I thought it was incredible how often the trains came. It was never more than a few minutes wait. There was no need for a real schedule which made it a very spontaneous trip."

Obviously you did not ride during the time of the light-rail/auto accident yesterday. That held all those train riders up for a significant period of time. Many were waiting at stations and no trains were showing up.
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Old 12-03-2009, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Phoenix
4,000 posts, read 5,905,118 times
Reputation: 853
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ritchie_az View Post
You forget to mention that the "Hattie B" train ran because the auto bridges over the Salt River were washed out during a severe flood. If you closed the bridges over the Salt River and started passenger train service between Mesa and Phoenix, yeah, you'd have an "enormous ridership". But as far as I've heard, closing the auto bridges across the river is not part of the passenger train proposal.
Actually, only Mill Ave, Central Ave, and 51st Ave bridges were washed out. What is now the i-10/i-17 bridge over the Salt River were NOT washed out and still handled most of the flow. However, given the choice to wait in traffic, like they commuters do now, or use the Hattie "B," tens of thousands used the train...

Again, the I-10 is in similar congestive strain that was experienced during the 80's and it would be common sensical to believe the same would occur.
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Old 12-03-2009, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Peoria, AZ
1,064 posts, read 1,461,721 times
Reputation: 414
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ritchie_az View Post
"On a positive note about the light rail too, I thought it was incredible how often the trains came. It was never more than a few minutes wait. There was no need for a real schedule which made it a very spontaneous trip."

Obviously you did not ride during the time of the light-rail/auto accident yesterday. That held all those train riders up for a significant period of time. Many were waiting at stations and no trains were showing up.
Yes I DID ride it at that time.

They had said it would be a 40 minute wait, but then it started up in about 10 minutes. Then at each stop they announced they had clearance to one more station down the line but were unsure how long the wait would be at each one. They recommended that if you were in a hurry, you may want to get off at 44th/Washington and take a bus. We stayed on and I was never waiting more than 10 minute to at least move up one station. I felt pretty informed about the incident the whole way through and felt they handled it well despite the kink in the regular flow.
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